Existing portable audio interfaces now have to contend with a new contender, the 2-input Roland Duo-Capture EX.
It is the latest member of Roland's Capture series of audio interfaces and comes with VS Preamps, the same ones used on their high end hardware.
The first thing that you will notice with this two-in/two-out USB audio interface is its simple looks and aluminum casing. It is designed to be small and lightweight while maintaining reasonable durability. Everything on the outside is kept simple, no fancy lights or colorful knobs, probably to reduce energy consumption and weight, as well as provide hassle free operation.
The front panel comes with two combo jack audio inputs, these can accommodate 1/4" TRS connectors like those from guitars or XLR which is the typical connection used by microphones. Sensitivity and output knobs are located on the front panel, along with a phones output. The rear panel comes with two 1/4" balanced or unbalanced output jacks, control switches, a USB port and a DC-in jack. It also comes with MIDI input and output ports that makes the Roland Duo-Capture EX a working MIDI audio interface as well.
Although seemingly straightforward on the outside, the inside of this compact interface features the best of what Roland has to offer. It features two "VS Preamps", these are made with the same components as the ones found on Roland's bigger audio interfaces and digital mixers. According to Roland, these high grade preamps offer clean and transparent sound that can only be found on more expensive units. Other features include phantom power support for condenser microphones, and a Hi-Z setting for connecting a guitar or bass directly.
For convenient on-the-go recording, you can power this audio interface in three ways - through USB, via a DC power adapter or by putting in three batteries. Having the battery option may seem redundant, but it will allow you to have extended recording time in places where there are no power outlets, being battery powered, it will not drain the battery of your computer.
Roland probably realized that great hardware and portability is rendered pointless if the device has limited compatibility, so they designed the Duo-Capture EX to be compatible with multiple systems, including both Mac and PC, as well as iOS devices like the iPad.
Here is the official video demo from Roland:
Pricing information is still not available, but you can find out more about the Duo-Capture EX from Roland.
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